POST TIME: 14 February, 2019 12:46:41 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 14 February, 2019 12:06:06 PM
Rebel BNP leaders to contest UZ polls
Rafiqul Islam Azad, Dhaka

Rebel BNP leaders to contest UZ polls

Defying their party's decision to stay out of local government elections, at least two dozen BNP leaders have submitted their nomination papers to contest the forthcoming fifth upazila parishad (UZ) polls, scheduled to take place on March 10, as independent candidates.

The party’s central leaders, however, warned that they would take disciplinary action against those rebel candidates who would take part in the elections ignoring the party’s decision. The Election Commission (EC) is set to hold the first phase of the elections in 87 upazilas under 12 districts on March 10.

Around 25 rebel BNP leaders have already submitted their nomination papers as independent candidates to contest the polls for the chairman and vice chairman’s posts in the UZ polls. Some of them, however, said they were observing the situation and might opt out of the contest at the last moment.

Leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami, a major partner of the BNP in the 20-Party Alliance, are also contesting the polls in two upazilas. Sources said Panchagarh Sadar upazila BNP president Abu Daud Prodhan was contesting as a chairman candidate, while Mamun, another leader, will contest as a vice-president candidate from the same upazila.

No BNP candidate will contest the polls for the chairman or vice-chairman posts in any of 20 upazilas of Kurigram, Joypurhat and Nilphamari districts.

In Hatibandha upazila of Lalmonirhat district, two BNP leaders—district Mohila Dal vice-chairman Latifa Akhter and joint secretary Maktuba Wasim Beby—are contesting the polls as vice-chairman candidates.

Two BNP leaders—former upazila president Abdur Rouf and member Arifur Rahman Pavel—are contesting the polls from Bakhshiganj upazila in Jamalpur as independent candidates. There is no BNP candidate in the remaining six upazilas of the district.

In Netrakona, former upazila BNP president Saidur Rahman Talukder is contesting for the post of chairman in Purbadhala upazila. He will fight the polls as an independent candidate.

Two BNP leaders, Faruk Ahmed and Ansaruddin, are contesting for the chairman’s post in the South Sunamganj upazila in Sunamganj district as independent candidates. Two other BNP candidates—incumbent upazila chairman Quamruzzaman Kamal and Anisul Haque—will contest the polls in Tahirpur upazila in the district.

In Habiganj, Mahbubur Rahman Awal, general secretary of the district Krishak Dal and incumbent vice-chairman, and Nadira Khanom, the incumbent vice-chairman (reserved seat for women), will contest the polls from Bahubal upazila.

District BNP vice-president SSAM Shajahan is contesting for the chairman’s post and poura BNP convenor Abdul Aziz for the vice-chairman’s post in Madhabpur upazila.

Upazila BNP president Syed Liakat Hasan and Kazi Safia Khatun will contest for the vice-chairperson’s seat (reserved seat for women) in Chunarughat upazila in Habiganj district.

BNP supporter Abdul Hye Chowdhury is contesting the elections as a chairman candidate from Nabiganj upazila, while upazila Juba Dal general secretary Khaledur Rashid Jhalak is contesting from Ajmeriganj upazila. District BNP vice-president Manjuruddin Ahmed Shahin will take part in the polls from Baniachang upazila.

Jamaat supporter Abdul Hye will contest the election from Ajmeriganj and Jamaat leader Iqbal Bahar from Baniachang upazila of Nabiganj district.

In Sirajganj district, BNP leader Maj. (retd) Abdullah Al Mamun is contesting the polls from Chauhali upazila and Mahfuza Khanam from Kazipur upazila as independent candidates. District BNP joint secretary Golam Sarwar submitted his nomination paper to contest the polls from Netrakona Sadar upazila.

Talking to The Independent, Sarwar said he had already spoken with the central leaders and was observing the situation. He also said people were in a state of panic ahead of the election and that he would take his decision after observing the situation.

In Rajshahi, upazila BNP general secretary Principal GIasuddin is contesting from Mohonpur upazila. BNP joint secretary Abdullah Al Mamun is taking part in the elections from Bagha upazila as independent candidates.

BNP standing committee member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said the party’s decision to boycott all elections under the present government and the Election Commission (EC) was still in force. He claimed that he did not know about the candidature of party leaders.

BNP joint secretary general Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal said they would check who had submitted nomination papers as independent candidates to contest the upcoming UZ polls. Anyone interested in taking part in the elections can do so after resigning from the party, he added.